Oliver Gildart will miss the start of the 2020 season after undergoing surgery on a dislocated shoulder.
Wigan say the operation will sideline him for "up to four to five months" - which could rule him out until mid-April.
If he returns after five months from his operation date, he would miss the first 10 Super League games.
The centre, who didn't miss a match for the Warriors in 2019, suffered the injury playing for Great Britain against a Tonga Invitational XIII.
Warriors coach Adrian Lam said: “It’s a blow, as Oliver is a quality player, but injuries are part and parcel of a sport as tough as rugby league and his misfortune presents another member of our squad with an opportunity to contribute in the early weeks of the 2020 season.
"The surgery was a success and we’ll support the player throughout his rehabilitation process to get him on the road to recovery as soon as possible.”
Dan Sarginson, the other starting centre from 2019, has left the club to join Salford.
Zak Hardaker could take one of the roles, if Bevan French switches to full-back, while Wigan have signed utility back Jake Bibby (Salford) and also have Chris Hankinson in the frame.